Every promise by Andrea Bajani
Original title – Ogni Promessa
Translator – Alastair McEwan
Source – Review copy
When this dropped through the letter box last year I read the blurb and in a way didn’t grab me ,I loved the cover but as happens it fell down the TBR pile to the other day I decide to pick it up and had missed the quote on the rear of the book from Antonio Tabucchi ,which is a writer I love so who is Andrea Bajani ,well he was born in Rome and moved round Italy growing up finally end up in Turin ,where he is both a journalist and writer he published his first novel in 2002 .this is seventh novel and won the Premio Bagutta prize in italy one of italy top literary prizes .
Yet we made love and no child came along .It was our we fell to the ground every month and broke in two ,and by dint gluing it together again it couldn’t be fixed anymore .The first months had been normal ,going down the whole route evry time , getting past menstrual cycles without wondering about anything , nopt even thinking about it ,just making love because we couldn’t do anything but searc for each other under our clothing as soon as we were close .
Maybe the lack of a baby coming was the start of their problems .
Every promise is the story of a man coming to terms with himself and the world around him Pietro the man in the story starts the book with his partner Sara leaving him ,we later find out she is expecting a baby to another man but still is very close to Pietro mother .Add to this Pietro does what most men in this position do he becomes a bit of a layabout and lets his live become a mess .Now around this time an old man who had fought in Russia during the war Olmo appear ,this leads Pietro going to Russia himself but also this leads into another story his mother’s father ,his grandfather Mario a man who had problems with hios family after the war and had also been in Russia during the war has died .
Olmo asked me if everything was still there in Russia ,he said it like that ,with a little anxiety in his voice , as if he had far from home and had sent someone to check things out .
Russia holds many secrets but also truths for Pietro .
Well that gives you the bare bones of the story and that is it ,this book has many a twist and turn and more than one thing going on .When I started it I found myself doing that thing of flicking back to check what was happening but most of all the story is of a man who has to lose everything to discover who he is by leaving his homeland and see the world through different eyes and his home in a new light and also what happen in his families past .I am shocked that I have discovered yet another wonderful Italian writer Niccolo Ammanti , Pietro Grossi and Davide longo and Andrej Longo are Showing what appears a rich vein of younger Italian writers coming through slowly as ever to us in English .This book links love ,loss ,secrets ,family ,death and life so well with a vulnerable but fun edge to his writing Andrea Bajani shows what it is to be a modern Italian man by looking at the past and the present to show the future .This is one of those books that have slipped under the radar and maybe shouldn’t have .
Have you a current Italian writer you like ?